Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica
SUMMARY – sweet crust wraps a savory, cheesy, creamy and meaty filling. Great warm, cool or cold.


If I had an Italian grandmother, I can imagine her making this. And, I can imagine the extra work it would be without a food processor! I could see that this would appear only on holidays. Just to make it special, and make us beg her for it.


Sadly, my grandmothers were neither Italian, nor pizza or pie makers. I can’t become Italian, but I can make a mean pizza pie!


This was a great recipe to make on Sunday. First, I could take all day to make it. Second, once it was done, it could sit on the table, with our small junk food fest, while we watched the Panthers take on the Broncos. Although the game was disappointing, this pizza was not.


I thought the reaction would not be as positive as it was. When I packed it up, there was only half of it left. I consider that a vote of confidence.


Why was I worried? I tasted a bit of raw crust and it was sweet. Not cookie-level sweet, but enough that I thought it was a little odd with the Thanksgiving herbs. But Rose made this so it will make sense in the end.


Since I didn’t want to try and flip it out of a cake pan, I used a springform pan. The sides were a little high, so I couldn’t drape the edges of the bottom crust over the side.


I had to stick the crust to the edge of the pan so it didn’t flop down. I also put it in the refrigerator for a while because the crust dough got too soft and started to rip everywhere. There was enough extra dough for some quick patchwork.


The dough did rip while I was weaving the top together. But the glaze would fix that.

Since the dough was so sweet, I also sprinkled the top with some pretzel salt. Because, well, crunchy salt.



Another thing I should have done was wrap the pan with a cake strip. I thought the side crust got too brown, but the top crust didn’t get brown enough.


If I make this again, I think I would add more meat. The sausage was good, but ham and chopped meatballs would punch up the salt quotient.


I could really see this as a sweet ricotta pie. I wouldn’t make it as sweet as a regular cheesecake, but I would add a lot of berries, dried and/or fresh, or maybe pumpkin puree, and use honey to sweeten.




  1. Love the pretzel salt idea! I was also dubious about adding sugar to a savory dough (I think I decreased the amount a little), but the end result was great.

  2. I don’t have pretzel salt but I have Maldon so thanks for the tip! I had to keep reminding myself generations of Italian grandmothers made this just fine without sophisticated kitchen equipment. I like your idea for dessert ricotta pizza rusticas.

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